In search of snacks in soccer cities
A 32-country quest for places to find a quick, delicious bite to eat
Hello, Snackers. I thought I’d take a break from deep-dive archival research and spend some time poking around Google Maps instead. Let’s explore!
Also, some news: I reported an episode for Proof, a food-history podcast from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s about old-timey candy and you can find it here or wherever you find your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.). The episode is based on this Snack Stack post but goes a LOT deeper. Go listen!
For some reason I thought this would be a simple task. Instead of spending hours in the newspaper archives, looking for details about a specific food, I’d just do a quick search for snacks in each of the countries competing in the World Cup. Simple!
But…there are 32 countries. And I couldn’t leave any out. And it seemed too easy and boring—and not in the let’s-get-lost spirit of this newsletter—to just look up some popular snacks in each country. And it was also too simple to look up snack bars in the largest cities. I’m from Minneapolis—I like to celebrate the sorta medium-sized places. Second- or third-largest cities would also be too obvious and, in a lot of cases, too likely to turn up tourist restaurants based on my methodology (see below). So that wouldn’t work.
All of which is to say that for today’s issue of Snack Stack, I’ve found snack stands in the fourth-largest cities in every country participating in the World Cup.
Teams are listed according to their group in the tournament.
Each selection has a link that goes to a map. Click! Look around! Get lost! Find snacks!
My methodology: figure out what city was the fourth-largest, search “snacks near [city]” on Google Maps, choose a place that had an interesting-sounding name or intriguing photos. Not the most scientific approach, and it meant that all results were places with the English word “snacks” in the business name or associated text, which means this is not necessarily reflective of actual everyday snacks eaten by local residents.
Even though this isn’t a scientific study, it’s worth noting that fried chicken (in wing, finger, or nugget form) and french fries are popular damn near everywhere. So, too, is Coca-Cola.
Even if you click on no other links, go check out the photos of the restaurant in Iran.
Fourth-largest city: Al Wakrah
Snack stand: Fresh Way Cafeteria
On the menu: Wraps, burgers, elaborate fruit/ice cream dishes, fries
Fourth-largest city: Santo Domingo
Snack stand: Calle del Colesterol (AMAZING NAME)
On the menu: Chicken tenders, tacos, fries
Fourth-largest city: Thies
Snack stand: Restaurant Damel’s
On the menu: Grilled meat kebabs, fries
Fourth-largest city: Utrecht
Snack stand: Rhijnsnack
On the menu: Fries topped with various meat and sauce options
Fourth-largest city: Sheffield
Snack stand: Snack Attack Cafe
On the menu: Meat-and-veggie sandwiches
Fourth-largest city: Karaj
Snack stand: Tanoorak Fast Food
On the menu: Over-the-top burgers and pizza. Like…I know you’re busy, but I need you to stop what you’re doing and click through these photos (more here!) and ask yourself why this place isn’t in every mall in the world. Marvelous excess here.
Fourth-largest city: Houston
Snack stand: Don Pinguino
On the menu: Elaborate ice cream concoctions, tortas, bags of corn chips and potato chips
Fourth-largest city: Wrexham
Snack stand: Caroline's Viennese Patisserie
On the menu: Cakes, pastries
Fourth-largest city: La Plata
Snack stand: Carne
On the menu: Burgers, shakes, fries (but all, like, slightly fancy; it feels very Gentrified Neighborhood in this place )
Fourth-largest city: Medina
Snack stand: Al Baik Fast Food
On the menu: Fried chicken, fried shrimp, fries
Fourth-largest city: León
Snack stand: Snacks Lokos León
On the menu: Dorilocos, vaso loco, paleta loco, everything loco (Google says this is a health food store, LOL)
Fourth-largest city: Wroclaw
Snack stand: Nasza Pączkarnia
On the menu: Doughnuts
Fourth-largest city: Lyon
Snack stand: The Food Factory (because if there’s anything that embodies the French approach to gastronomy, it’s factories)
On the menu: Big ol’ burgers, fries, the famous French tacos
Fourth-largest city: Perth
Snack stand: King’s Park Kiosk
On the menu: Pastries, premade sandwiches, novelty ice cream bars
Fourth-largest city: Aalborg
Snack stand: Caféministeriet
On the menu: Burgers, tartes, fries, something called—if I’m reading the chalkboard right—the “Slutty Pancake Sandwich”
Fourth-largest city: Ettadhamen
Snack stand: Snacky’s
On the menu: Elaborate hot dogs, corndogs, burgers, and French tacos
Fourth-largest city: Seville
Snack stand: Cafetería Pastelería La Canasta
On the menu: Sandwiches, pastries, lovely platters of jamón
Fourth-largest city: Heredia
Snack stand: Mingo Snacks
On the menu: Hamburgers, fries, hot dogs
Fourth-largest city: Cologne
Snack stand: Rievkoochebud Reibekuchen
On the menu: Potato pancakes (with sauce)
Fourth-largest city: Nagoya
Snack stand: Fujiyama 55 Muneharu Zone
On the menu: Ramen, tsukemen
Fourth-largest city: Ghent
Snack stand: Pitta Snack Metropol (At some point, I need to write a post about stands in Europe; someone please remind me in a few weeks)
On the menu: Kebabs, fries buried under mounds of meat and cheese (see photo above), tiny side salads that are honestly a nice gesture but kinda hilarious when they’re next to … (again, see above)
Fourth-largest city: Ottawa
Snack stand: Snack O’Shack
On the menu: “The melting pot of Asia,” so they claim. Spring rolls, roti, gyoza, samosas.
Fourth-largest city: Marrakesh
Snack stand: Snack Aziz
On the menu: Paninis, pizza, French tacos
Fourth-largest city: Rijeka
Snack stand: Munch Bar
On the menu: Waffles with a LOT of chocolate. Can be ordered in a paper cone, for maximum portability.
Fourth-largest city: Salvador
Snack stand: Acarajé da Dinha
On the menu: Acarajés (fritters made with black-eyed peas)
Fourth-largest city: Kragujevac
Snack stand: Snack Bar Smaz
On the menu: Sandwiches, pasta, fries
Fourth-largest city: Bern
Snack stand: Swiss Snacks
On the menu: Kebabs, pizza, falafel, burgers
Fourth-largest city: Kousseri, but I couldn’t find a single restaurant in town with a menu on the internet—Google kept trying to send me across the river to N'Djamena, Chad—so instead we’ll go to Garoua, the third-largest city in Cameroon.
Snack stand: Double Bite Restaurant
On the menu: Grilled chicken, fries, ice cream, popcorn
Fourth-largest city: Braga
Snack stand: Tibias de Braga
On the menu: Pastries. Endless pastries.
Fourth-largest city: Sekondi-Takoradi
Snack stand: Mummys Pastries and Food
On the menu: Pastries, meat and rice
Fourth-largest city: Paysandú
Snack stand: La Nueva Paychivito
On the menu: Chivitos (giant sandwiches but also way more than just that)
Fourth-largest city: Daegu
Snack stand: Banwoldang Gimbap
On the menu: Gimbap
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“Slutty” pancakes and a glass of Carlsberg...breakfast of (snack) champions?